If your money talked, what secrets would it tell? Financial advisor Gary Sirak was on a plane to Las Vegas when he heard people on the charter flight talk about how rich they were going to become and they had all these wild, crazy thoughts about how much money they were going to win. On the same airplane three days later, it was so depressing as people were talking about how much money they had lost. That spurred Gary on to start putting things together to write a book from a financial services standpoint. Gary outlines some very common sense approaches to money which he finds most people to be lacking of and which certainly is not being taught in many school systems. Learn what other things Gary captured and was able to observe as he talks about his book and financial services company.
Listen to the podcast here:
Financial Services: If Your Money Talked with Gary Sirak
I just want to thank you for listening to Heartrepreneur Radio. I’m giving away a free gift. It’s going to help you in your business. You can pick it up at GetHotPayingClients.com. It’s just my way of saying thanks for tuning in. Let’s get on with the show. I have with me Gary Sirak. He’s been helping other people achieve their American dream for the last 35 years. He’s President of Sirak Financial Services in Canton, Ohio, and it’s so cool. The company was founded by his father, Stan, in 1957. I love to hear longevity in companies. He is the author of two books. Gary has written, If Your Money Talked…What Secrets Would It Tell? and he’s also written The American Dream, Revisited: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Results. Gary, welcome to Heartrepreneur Radio.
Thank you, Terri.
You’re so welcome. I have to just say it’s rare these days that I hear of businesses that someone’s father or mother started that has been passed on and is still rocking. Tell us a little bit about that first.
We’re third generation. My nephew has been with me for twelve years. Eventually he will take over. It’s been an interesting travel. My dad started in ’57 because a company he was working for, my grandfather owned, has shut down. They had basically gone out of business, went bankrupt or whatever, and my father needed a job and the only people that would hire him was an insurance company, which is no longer in existence today. He took that job and it took him a long time to figure out how to make a living in it.
In fact, they even sold shoes on the weekend, which he absolutely despise, but that’s what he did so he could put food and shelter on the table. Eventually my father figured this out and turned it into an amazing enterprise. Then I joined about 35 years ago and I’ve taken it to some pretty cool levels and we’ve expanded rather dramatically. When I got there, there were eight people. At our peak we had over 60 and I blamed myself for most of that stuff.
Let me ask you specifically, what does your company do that sets it apart in the world of financial services?
It’s such a broad based market. What I would have honed in on is I love working with entrepreneurial people. I look for people that are exciting, dynamic, that have a future. They want to go somewhere in life that aren’t just complacent to be where they are now. Those are the people I liked to work with. That’s where our focus has become and because of that we’ve been able to build these nice offshoots and referral systems and people say entrepreneurial guy that I can work with. I ask people that all the time and people know them and we hit it off quite well, Terri.
It’s a great way to do business. I love the titles of your books. They resonated with me. It’s one of the reasons I reached out and said I want to interview you. What led you to write the books? Maybe then you can share some magical secrets from the books. Also Gary, tell us where to get them, please.
I’m on Amazon. Everybody goes there and they can go to my website and I’ll actually sign copies for them if they purchase them off my website. It’s a GarySirak.com. it’s very simple. The book titles are interesting. The first one, If Your Money Talked…What Secrets Would It Tell?, happened because I was on a plane going to Vegas with my wife about twenty years ago, listening to all these people on this charter flight talk about how rich they were going to become on the way out to Vegas and it was pretty exciting at one point. I’m a listener, so I would just hang back. My wife was reading and I just listening to conversations and all these people had all these wild, crazy thoughts of how much money they were going to win, which I thought was unique.
[Tweet “I wrote a very good common sense approach to money which I find most people don’t have and not being taught in many school systems.”]
Meantime, when we come back three days later, the same airplane, same seats, I tell people, “It’s like I’ve been to three funerals. I was waiting for my fourth.” It was so depressing on that plane. People were just talking about how much money they had lost. They would have to get a second job. They weren’t going to be able to retire. The wife would divorce them because they lost so much money or their credit cards are maxed out. I’m listening to them and thinking these people thought they were going to have financial success by going to Las Vegas and they’re clueless. That spurred me on to begin to pay attention and start putting things together to write that book.
I love the fact that it came from listening to real conversations and the inspiration that came from that. I enjoyed that. I think it’s so important as we get to hear people are saying and what people are thinking, we can almost find the gaps and we can fill them. Does that make sense?
That’s what I attempted to do in that book. I just wrote a very good common sense approach to money, which I find most people don’t have and it’s certainly not being taught in many school systems. My game plan was If I’m going to put this down on paper and just capture some things I’ve observed, it would be helpful.
I think that’s incredible and smart. I’ll say that because I happened to be married to a financial adviser and one of the things that he has said, “I’m not a financial adviser. I don’t play one on TV, I don’t pretend to be one,” but one of the things that he says quite often is if people just had a little bit more common sense, but they don’t know what they don’t know. I think that’s interesting. If Your Money Talked…What Secrets Would It Tell? That gives me goose bumps. Then what about the American Dream, Revisited: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Results?
I’m addicted to mochas. I hit coffee shops every morning and there were four of them within about a five-minute drive from my office to my home that I can stop at, then which one I want to go through. One morning I stopped at a coffee shop called Karma Cafe and I sat down at the table and I was drinking my mocha, minding my own business, thinking about my day, my week, my month, my life. I don’t remember Terri, but I was certainly contemplating something that day and four college students sat down right behind me and started having a conversation. Then the conversation became the American dream. I listened because I paid attention to the American dream my whole life, at least in some level. I was focused in on what they were talking about. I wanted to hear what they were saying.
Then very quickly one of them said, “I don’t think it’s a dream. I think it’s the American disaster.” The conversation turned incredibly negative and they talked about college loans and credit card debts and tough job market and all those things that you can look at it if you wish. The one young man didn’t say anything. Then finally he said, “I don’t agree with you. I feel like I’ll get a good job. I’ll pay off my debts. I’m going to have a good life.” They shut him down in seconds. Anyway, I was not happy with that conversation. I walked out of Karma Cafe with very bad karma that day. About four nights later, I woke up in the middle of the night, 4:00 AM, and was thinking, “What do I do? I’ve got to do something.” This book came out. This was my answer to that conversation at the coffee shop.
It’s just so fascinating how this is coming to be. I just love this. What is your plan for the next few years? What is it that you’re working on? What is it you want to achieve?
First of all, this book has been out about a year and it’s just funny how books go. I’ve written two of them now, and they have their own lives is what I’ve determined. I like to do these shows. I enjoy talking to people. I’ve met all kinds of fascinating people all around the world. I’ve had conversations from Australia, Zimbabwe, Scotland, England, Jamaica, who believes in the American dream. I’m having fun with it and I’ve always said that at this point in time in my life, if I’m having fun, I’m good. If it’s not fun, I’m going to stop and do something else. This is a whole lot of fun to me. I’m going to pursue my books and continue talking about them on radio shows and podcasts and I’m writing a third one now and just starting that. Actually I’m having an interview about that, so that’s happening. I’m going to just keep doing what I’ve been doing, which is working with people that are fun to work with and people that are exciting and dynamic and hopefully keep me young.
Will you give us a hand? What’s the next book going to be about?
This one comes up again. I guess I get ticked off and write a book. I don’t know where your husband in his career, but I’ve been doing this a long time and what’s happening now is a lot of people are coming to me about retirement. My career about five years ago maybe a little bit more shifted to where instead of helping people gather assets, it’s now the distribution world. How do you distribute money to these people for the rest of their life? As they came in to talk about retirement, what I quickly realized is the money part is part of it and everybody’s big part. They think that’s all that matters and I know very different. I know that isn’t all that matter. There’s a lot of things that matter, but one of them is money and I get that, but number two, it’s what are you going to do for the rest of your life, so I ask them a question and it’s real simple. What’s next?
The mental side of retirement is what I’m working with. I have put together a wish list of what they should be doing and I have these conversation and Terri, I can’t tell you how many people I say what’s next? They looked at me like a deer in the headlights. They have no idea. I just had that happen to me. I said to somebody, plenty of money, $3,000,000, they’re set for their life financially, but I said, “Tell me what happens the morning after you retire. What’s going to go on?” They look at me, “What do you mean?” I said, “What are you going to do? For 40 years you’re going to do the same thing every day. What are you going to do to have purpose in your life?”
I’m so glad you actually mentioned that because I know so many people who’ve gotten to the point where they have retired and all of the sudden they don’t have purpose. They don’t even know, “What am I doing when I wake up in the morning?” It’s so important. We’ve got so many people that are coming into those ages of retirement that don’t have a plan. I’ll share, Gary. When I was younger, my dad kept saying, “Work real hard and one day you could retire.” I believed that. I grew up with that. I worked real hard. Then I watched my dad who worked really hard retire one day just to basically say, “I feel useless now.” I was like, “That’s not what life is about.” That’s going to be an important book. Will you come back on the show when the book is published? I’d love to have you back.
I’d be glad to do that and the funny thing is that’s what motivated me, what you just talked about your father. The thing is they don’t realize that if they don’t have something to do they get sick and die. That’s what’s happened. I’ve lost so many clients within a two-year frame work. It’s unbelievable and that’s very disturbing and I like these people so I hate to see them check out.
I get it. One more time, Gary, I just resonate with what you think. Tell people how they can connect with you one more time please.
GarySirak.com. Rachel in my office helps me with all those things so she fills on the emails and then we get answers from people and conversations going and the books can be purchased on my website or they can also be purchased through Amazon.
I say go get them on Gary’s websites so we can find the books for you. Gary, this has been a fascinating conversation. I appreciate you being here in Heartrepreneur Radio and definitely I’d like to invite you back.
Thanks Terri, it’s been fun.
- Gary Sirak
- Sirak Financial Services
- If Your Money Talked…What Secrets Would It Tell?
- The American Dream, Revisited: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Results
- Gary on Amazon
About Gary Sirak
I grew up in Canton, Ohio in the 1950s. At one point there were six of us living in a two bedroom house. The earliest memories I have of my parents is of them sitting around the kitchen table. They weren’t eating. They were arguing, trying to figure out how to make ends meet. I remember seeing my mom with a stack of envelopes in front of her – one for each bill due – and she was shuffling money between them. I remember the tension in the room as she and my father were going back and forth about which bills to pay and which they could put off until next month.